Roger Mudd

Meet the Press 1984–1985

Roger Mudd  is an American broadcast journalist, most recently working as the primary anchor for The History Channel. Previously, Mudd was weekend and weekday substitute anchor for the CBS Evening News, the co-anchor of the weekday NBC Nightly News, and the host of the NBC-TV Meet the Press, and American Almanac TV programs. Mudd is the winner of the Peabody Award, the Joan Shorenstein Award for Distinguished Washington Reporting, and five Emmy Awards.


Mudd was born in Washington, D.C. His father, John Kostka Dominic Mudd, was the son of a tobacco farmer, and he worked as a map maker for the United States Geological Survey, and his mother, Irma Iris Harrison, was the daughter of a farmer and she was a lieutenant for the U.S. Army Nursing Corps and then a nurse at the physiotherapy ward in the Walter Reed Hospital, where she met Roger's father.

Roger Mudd received a B.A. degree from Washington and Lee University in 1950  where one of his classmates was author Tom Wolfe and an M.A. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1953. Mudd is a member of Delta Tau Delta international fraternity.

Mudd began his journalism career in Richmond, Virginia as a reporter for The Richmond News Leader and for radio station WRNL. At the News Leader, he worked at the rewrite desk during spring 1953 and became a summer replacement on June 15 that year. The News Leader ran its first story with a Mudd byline on June 19, 1953.

At WRNL radio, Mudd did the daily noon newscast. In his memoir The Place to Be, Mudd describes an incident from his first day at WRNL in which he laughed hysterically on-air after mangling a news item about the declining health of Pope Pius XII. Because Mudd failed to silence his microphone properly, an engineer intervened. WRNL later gave Mudd his own daily broadcast, Virginia Headlines. In the fall of 1954, Mudd enrolled in the University of Richmond School of Law but he dropped out after one semester.

CBS News

CBS News was located on the third floor of WTOP's studios at 40th and Brandywine in northwestern Washington, D.C. Mudd quickly came to the attention of CBS News and moved "downstairs" to join the Washington bureau on May 31, 1961.For most of his career at CBS, Mudd was a Congressional correspondent. Mudd was also the anchor of the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News and he frequently substituted on the weeknight broadcasts when the anchorman Walter Cronkite was on vacation or working on special assignments. During the Civil Rights Movement, Mudd anchored the August 28, 1963 coverage of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom for CBS.

On November 13, 1963, CBS-TV broadcast the documentary Case History of a Rumor, in which Mudd interviewed Rep. James Utt, a Republican of Santa Ana, California, about a rumor that Utt spread about Africans who were supposedly working with the United Nations to take over the United States.Utt sued CBS-TV in U.S. Federal Court for libel, but the court dismissed the case.

Mudd also covered numerous political campaigns. He was paired with CBS journalist Robert Trout in the August 1964 Democratic National Convention anchor booth, temporarily displacing Walter Cronkite, in an unsuccessful attempt to match the popular NBC Chet Huntley–David Brinkley anchor team. Mudd covered the 1968 Presidential campaign of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and interviewed him at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles only minutes before Kennedy was murdered on June 5, 1968.

Mudd hosted the seminal documentary The Selling of the Pentagon in 1971. He was a candidate to succeed Walter Cronkite as anchor of the CBS Evening News. Despite substantial support for Mudd within the ranks of CBS News, the network management gave the position to Dan Rather after the longtime White House and 60 Minutes correspondent threatened to leave the network and sign a contract with ABC News.

NBC News

In 1980, Mudd and Dan Rather were in contention to succeed Walter Cronkite as the weeknight anchor of the CBS Evening News. Mudd was offered a co-anchor roll but turned down the job, which was awarded to Rather. Mudd then chose to leave CBS News and he accepted an offer to join NBC News. He co-anchored NBC Nightly News from April 1982 until September 1983, when Tom Brokaw took over as sole anchor.

From 1984 to 1985, Mudd was the co-moderator of the NBC Meet the Press program with Marvin Kalb, and later he served as the co-anchor with Connie Chung on two NBC news magazines, American Almanac and 1986.


Meet the Press Moderators

Martha Rountree

Ned Brooks

Lawrence E. Spivak

Bill Monroe

Roger Mudd

Marvin Kalb

Chris Wallace

Garrick Utley

Tim Russert

Tom Brokaw

David Gregory

F. Chuck Todd




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